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Dr. Ida Sophia Scudder (December 9, 1870–May 24, 1960) was a third-generation American medical missionary in India of the Reformed Church in America. She dedicated her life to the plight of Indian women and the fight against bubonic plague, cholera and leprosy.[1], [2] In 1918 she started one of Asia's foremost Teaching hospitals, the Christian Medical College & Hospital, Vellore, India. Sound-icon1.pngHear Dr. Scudder tell her own story[3]

Ida S. Scudder as a young Woman

Contents

Early life

She was born of Dr. John Scudder Jr. and Mrs. Sophia Weld Scudder, part of a long line of medical missionary Scudders in India. She was a granddaughter of Rev. Dr. John Scudder, Sr.. As a child in India, she saw much famine, poverty and disease and her last idea was to spend her life in India, even though it might be the Scudder family tradition. She was invited by Dwight Moody to study at his Northfield Seminary in Massachusetts, where she earned a reputation for pranks. She was irrepressible, voted the most popular girl in her class!, ringleader of pranks, whether an impromptu joy ride with the "borrowed" horse and carriage of the German professor from Mount Hermon or an excursion to the old cider mill near the cobbler's shop![1] p.18

Ida expected to get married and settle down in the U.S. after seminary, but in 1890 she went back to India to help her father when her mother was ailing at the mission bungalow at Tindivanam. Ida had expressed a resolve not to become a medical missionary, but during that stay, she had the enlightening experience of not being able to help 3 woman in childbirth who died needlessly in one night. That experience convinced her that God wanted her to become a Physician and return to help the women of India. She was never married.

She graduated from Cornell Medical College in New York City in 1899, as part of the first class at that school that accepted women as medical students. She then headed back to India, fortified with a $10,000 grant from Mr. Schell, a Manhattan banker, in memory of his wife. With the money, she started a tiny medical dispensary and clinic for women at Vellore, 75 miles from Madras. Her father died in 1900, soon after she arrived in India. In two years she treated 5,000 patients. She opened the Mary Taber Schell Hospital in 1902.[4]

Ida Scudder realized that she would be foolish to go on alone in her fight to bring better health to South India's women, so she decided to open a medical school for girls. Skeptical males said she would be lucky to get three applicants; actually she had 151 the first year (1918), and had to turn many away ever since. At first, the Reformed Church in America was the main backer of the Vellore school, but after Dr. Scudder agreed to make it coeducational, it eventually gained the support of 40 missions. Of 242 students today, 95 are men.[5]

Christian Medical College, Vellore

Ida S. Scudder with Mahatma Gandhi, 1928

In 1928 ground was broken for the "Hillsite" medical school campus on 200 acres (0.8 km²) about 8 kilometers west of Vellore. In 1928 Mahatma Gandhi visited the medical school and appreciated Dr. Ida's work. She traveled a number of times to the United States to raise funds for the college and hospital, raising a total in the millions. In 1945 the college was opened to men as well as women. In 2003 the Vellore Christian Medical Center was the largest Christian hospital in the world, with 2000 beds, and its medical school is now one of the premier medical colleges in India.

Tributes

In 1953 at a sprightly 82 years old, Dr. Scudder sat in Hilltop, her bungalow at Kodaikanal overlooking the Vellore Christian Medical College and its hospital, and opened a stack of letters and telegrams. Her name is a famous one in India. A letter once reached her addressed simply, "Dr. Ida, India." But the mail was heavier than usual because friends around the world were congratulating her on winning the Elizabeth Blackwell Citation of the New York Infirmary, as one of five outstanding women doctors of 1952. [6] She died at age 90, of a circulatory ailment, in Kodaikanal.[7], [8]

Part of a series on
Protestant
missions
in India
CareyEngraving.jpg
William Carey

Background
Christianity
Thomas the Apostle
Pantaenus
Protestantism
Indian history
Missions timeline
Christianity in India

People
Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg
Joshua Marshman
William Ward
Alexander Duff
Anthony Norris Groves
V.Nagel
Henry Martyn
John Hyde
Amy Carmichael
E. Stanley Jones
Luther Rice
James Mills Thoburn
The Scudders
more missionaries

Works
Serampore College
Scottish Church College
Wilson College
Madras Christian College
St. Stephen's College
Gossner Theological College

Missionary agencies
London Missionary Society
Church Missionary Society
Baptist Missionary Society
Scottish General Assembly
American Board

Pivotal events
Indian Rebellion of 1857
Indian Republic
Interactions with Ayyavazhi

Indian Protestants
Bakht Singh
Krishna Mohan Banerjee
Michael Madhusudan Dutt
Pandita Ramabai
Sadhu Sundar Singh
Jashwant Rao Chitambar
Victor Premasagar
Y. D. Tiwari
P. C. John


A stamp issued on August 12, 2000 as part of centenary celebrations of Christian Medical College depicts the college chapel, the motivating monument of the medical college and hospital, symbolising the ethos of the institution. The First-day cover portrays Dr Ida Scudder, who founded the institute in 1900, working for the medical requirements of pregnant women. [9]

See also

Biographies

  • Graves Dan (2005) Glimses, issue #113, Christian History Institute, retrieved 9/8/2007Ida Scudder, A Woman Who Changed Her Mind
  • Legacy and Challenge: The Story of Dr. Ida B. Scudder, published by the Scudder Association [2]
  • Ida S. Scudder of Vellore: The Life Story of Ida Sophia Scudder by Dr. M. Pauline Jeffery, Wesley Press 1951
  • With: Ida S. Scudder and her gleam : memorial supplement, 1960-1961, by M. Pauline Jeffery. Vellore : Christian Medical College of Vellore, 1961
  • Dr. Ida by Dorothy Clarke Wilson 1959
  • The Doctor Who Never Gave Up by Carolyn Scott 1975
  • A Thousand Years In Thy Sight by Dorothy Jealous Scudder (1984) Chapters 25-27
  • Ida Scudder: Healing Bodies Touching Hearts by Janet Benge and Geoff Benge 2003
  • Dr. Ida Skudder by Veena Gavhankar, Raj Hans Prakashan, 1983 Marathi.

External links

References

  1. ^ a b Wilson Dorothy Clark, The Story of Dr. Ida Scudder of Vellore, Mcgraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., Full text (1959)
  2. ^ The Scudder Association Scudder Genealogy
  3. ^ Christian medical Collere (2005)Ida S. Scudder
  4. ^ Graves Dan (2005) Glimses, issue #113, Christian History Institute, retrieved 9/8/2007 Ida Scudder, A Woman Who Changed Her Mind
  5. ^ Christian Medical College (2005)Ida S. Scudder Christian Medical College
  6. ^ Time Magazine (Feb. 16, 1953) A Family Tradition[1]
  7. ^ biographical information on ISS and the Scudder family, see the inventory for Ida Sophia Scudder, MC 205,Scudder, Ida Sophia, 1870-1960. Papers, 1843-1976 (inclusive), 1888-1960 (bulk) (84-M159) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe College, February 1985 Ida Scudder paperws
  8. ^ Notable American Women, The Modern Period (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984).
  9. ^ Financial Express (September 12, 2000)Theme stamps mark this year's Independence Day

Other sources

This is an excellent resource but not yet referenced in this article.

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